Elden Ring, God of War: Ragnarök and Sonic Frontiers lead a packed year for gaming
It's not just about anime 'round these parts. In a year with no shortage of things to watch, we also made some time to play some video games. The year in gaming kicked off in style with the arrival of two heavy-hitters, Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West, and things really didn't slow down from there.
So while you've got some time this holiday season, maybe kick back with one of these picks or some honorable mentions. We'll even toss in some anime recommendations for each of game! Ready? Here are Crunchyroll News' picks for 2022's games of the year!
NOTE: These are in alphabetical order by title! Nice try, but you won't get a ranking out of us. (Except for a Ranking of Kings!)
Elden Ring (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC)
Between the vast open world, tons of bosses to stumble on and get beaten into the dirt by, and different day/night enemies, there's tons to explore and dig into. Add in all the creative creatures and enemies, and you've got yourself something very immersive and truly special.
- Kathleen Townsend, Sr. EN Contributing Writer (Honorable Mention: Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak)
I had great expectations since I'm a huge soulslike fan, and they have not been betrayed. There is an awesome world and story, not to mention the astonishing gameplay. I'm sure it will leave its mark.
- Francesco Ventura, Italian Editor (Honorable Mentions: God of War Ragnarök, Monster Hunter Rise (PC), The King of Fighters XV)
God of War Ragnarök (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5)
As a fan of the franchise since the PS2, it's been incredible to see Kratos' growth into a man who genuinely does want what's best for his son. It's also been great watching him offer advice to those who are hurting, as he's been through a lot of pain in his life. Him trying to find the balance between "preparing my son for the inevitable" and "not wanting my son to have to face the inevitable" is a welcome transition for the series.
- Briana Lawrence, Sr. EN Features Editor (Honorable Mentions: Tunic, Stray, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge)
This is a true masterpiece in all aspects! Not only GOTY but one of the best video games of this era.
- Julio Velez, Spanish Editor (Honorable Mentions: SCORN, The Last of Us Part 1, Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring)
Anime to watch if you like God of War Ragnarök: Vinland Saga, Kakushigoto
Horizon Forbidden West (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5)
I loved Horizon Zero Dawn so it came as no surprise that Horizon Forbidden West automatically became my game of the year in 2022. The gameplay mechanics are so fun, the world is absolutely beautiful and full of lore, and seeing Aloy rely on her friends more in this game made me feel like a proud mother. It's one of the few games where I don't want to finish the main quest.
- Deanna Nguyen, Sr. EN Contributing Writer (Honorable Mention: Stray)
Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Nintendo Switch)
I played a lot of good games this year, but none delivered the pound-for-pink-enveloped-pound of joy per minute quite like Kirby and the Forgotten Land. I wasn't even remotely skeptical about the move to full 3D because HAL Laboratory is just that good. For the past 30 years we've seen that Kirby can do pretty much anything he sets his heart to, and that goes doubly so for the brilliant minds behind him.
- Joseph Luster, Sr. EN News Editor (Honorable Mentions: Elden Ring, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge, Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (Switch), Infernax)
Anime to watch if you like Kirby and the Forgotten Land: Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Pui Pui Molcar
MARVEL SNAP (iOS, Android, PC)
Did I just pick a free-to-play mobile card game as my favorite game of the year? I guess so! The thing that makes MARVEL SNAP so incredible is that its premise is simple, yet its mechanics are as deep and complex as you need them to be. Want to run a deck with lots of meta moves and tons of buildup, you can! Want to just throw down Hulk and do some major damage? You can do that too! It also has a non-predatory monetization system, which shouldn't be too much to ask for but totally is these days. It's addicting, smart and just wonderfully fun.
- Nicholas Friedman, Sr. Manager, EN Editorial & EIC, EN News (Honorable Mentions: Pokémon Legends: Arceus, LIVE A LIVE, God of War Ragnarök, Stray, Tunic, Tinykin, Vampire Survivors)
Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Nintendo Switch)
Pokémon Legends: Arceus was the Pokémon game I had been waiting for since I was I a kid, giving me the chance to explore to my hearts content and catch Pokémon the way I wanted to. Despite some glaring issues, it was still the most fun and wonder I’ve had this year playing a game.
- Daryl Harding, Sr. Japan Correspondent (Honorable Mentions: Splatoon 3, Cyberpunk 2077 (PS5/Xbox Series X|S))
Sonic Frontiers (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Nintendo Switch)
Like many others who played the game (Sonic fans and non-fans alike), I won't call Sonic Frontiers a perfect game, but it is a fun one, a game that has gotten the closest to exploring the greatest potential of piloting Sonic's speed. Much of the game's flaws are swallowed by just how fun its feats are, and its lesser parts never feel like deal breakers. Overall, this is a step in the right direction for Sonic akin to the Adventure games—not perfect, but blasting towards frontiers in a way that make me excited for what comes next—and an addictively fun one to play at that.
- Sean Aitchison, Sr. EN Contributing Writer (Honorable Mentions: Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Perfect Tides)
This game is a fresh new step into the Sonic franchise. Exploring the open zones at the same time is exciting and relaxing. Combine this with a really interesting story and amazing soundtrack and you have one of the best 3D Sonic games in years.
- Samir Fraiha, Portuguese Sr. Contributing Writer (Honorable Mentions: The King of Fighters XV, Return to Monkey Island, God of War Ragnarök)
Sonic Frontiers just builds upon what makes Sonic games great and gives us the exploration side of new lands.
- Mohamed Mir, French Sr. Contributing Writer (Honorable Mentions: Sifu, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge, Deathloop, God of War Ragnarök)
Anime to watch if you like Sonic Frontiers: Street Sharks, Biker Mice from Mars, Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa, Bucky O'Hare
BONUS BECAUSE IT CAME OUT IN 2020 AND DOESN'T COUNT FOR 2022: Hades (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PC)
10/10 story, music, art, voice acting, gameplay. Kind-hearted prince of the underworld repairs a broken family through sass and sheer determination.
- Kristine Don, Sr. Manager, INTL Editorial (Honorable Mentions: Celeste, Hollow Knight) These don't count either -- Nick.
Anime to watch if you like Hades: Probably something that's at least two years old.
Did your favorites make our list? Let us know in the comments!